Aus: Colombian student numbers “highest” ever

Published 17/03/2023

Colombian student numbers for Australia are now the highest in history, according to new figures in an update from Austrade.

Total numbers for Colombia at the end of 2022 came in at 28,437, with the inclusion of enrolments, commencements and year-to-date visa lodgement figures offshore.

In the snapshot update on Latin America’s international student market, Austrade noted its push to get prospective students back to in-person recruitment events across Latin America.

“2023 is shaping up as a very strong year for Australian student recruitment from the LATAM region,” the update said.

There were Study Australia pavilions at BMI recruitment fairs in Colombia, as well as in Brazil, Chile, and Mexico throughout October, as well as LAE agent events, all with Austrade supporting for “greater reach and influence”.

Another key trend looked at in the update was Brazil’s strong bounce-back after the pandemic.

It noted that while commencements had been “lagging behind” enrolments, this was due to high air fares which have since lowered – with a flight between São Paulo and Australia now under AUS$3,000.

At the end of 2022, the total number of students from Brazil in Australia was 24,554.

While Mexico’s numbers are not as strong in the general international student figures, Austrade has said that it continues to have “significant potential given student volumes in competitor markets”.

“2023 is shaping up as a very strong year”

For example, Canada has seen a meteoric rise in the number of Mexican students in the country in recent years. Some 10,405 students had study permits in 2022, a 10% rise on 2021.

“Driving the Study Australia brand further, the Austrade team has signed an agreement with the Bank of Mexico’s student loans provider, FIDERH for collaborative marketing and events,” the update added.

Austrade was also optimistic about Chile’s growth, after the country’s foreign student scholarship scheme, Becas Chile, reopened in 2022.

Globally, the scheme wasn’t getting the application numbers it did before the pandemic, but Austrade said Australia now has a “familiar presence” in the country, and implied current numbers should not deter stakeholders.

“[Australia] is in a strong position to compete in common sectors of interest, including mining and agriculture,” the update noted.

Peru’s association with Australia continues to be “strong”, due to the renewal of an Australian student loan option through the country’s national bank, BCP.

Both Peru and Paraguay’s scholarship functions with scholarships for Australian study, PRONABEC and BECAL, have confirmed a new intake of students and announced a call for new applications respectively.

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